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Colour coding to help manage COVID-19 pandemic

Topics Covered: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Colour coding to help manage COVID-19 pandemic

What to study?

For Prelims: How are the districts divided? State with max hotspots? Implications?

For Mains: Need for these classifications, challenges ahead and measures needed.

Context: The government has decided to divide all districts across the country into hotspots, non-hotspots and green zones.

The health and family welfare ministry has identified 170 hotspot districts, 207 non-hotspot districts reporting cases and 359 green zone districts not reporting any cases across the country.

These numbers will increase or decrease based on fresh cases of novel coronavirus infection.

Why this classification was necessary? What are its implications?

This will help in managing the Covid-19 pandemic as well as partial opening up of economic activities during the extended period of the nationwide lockdown. This would help in management of hotspots and spread of pandemic.

How are the districts divided?

The health ministry used two criteria to classify the districts as hotspots — the absolute number of cases and the speed of growth in cases.

The technical definition followed to classify the districts is any district reporting more than six cases would be classified as hotspot district or red zone.

Any hotspot district with more than 15 cases would be treated as a district witnessing outbreak.

Which districts are under red zone?

Delhi and NCR, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Thane, Yavatmal, Sangli, Buldhana, Ahmednagar, and Latur in Maharashtra, and Chennai, Chengalpattu, Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Erode, Dindigul, Karur, Madurai, Namakkal, Ranipet, Tiruchirapalli, Tiruppur and Theni in Tamil Nadu.

Demarcation of epicentre and containment zones:

A house with positive cases or a cluster with positive cases is marked as the epicentre of the containment zone. A radius of 0.5 km is taken and the area around it is cordoned off with only essential services available.

Also, a buffer zone is marked where people with severe and acute respiratory illnesses (SARI) are checked and monitored.

Containment zones are created to map the local transmission of the disease and prevent the contagion from spreading.


Sources: the Hindu.